Maine: An Encyclopedia

Civil War, Confederate Raiders

The United States’ Fort Sumpter in South Carolina fell to the Confederates on April 13, 1861, effectively initiating the Civil War. Four days later Confederate President Jefferson Davis authorized private vessels to capture or destroy Union commercial sailing vessels.

This decision had a severe impact on Maine’s seafaring fleet and the coastal economy.  During the war eighty-eight Maine vessels were captured, sunk, burned, damaged, or released then recaptured by what were called “Confederate raiders.”  In addition Confederate navy cruisers, the Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Shenandoah and Sumpter, sank their share of Union ships.

Date Year Vessels
12-May 1861 Machias-built State of Maine
18-May 1861 Bath-built Milan and Rockland-built Ocean Eagle 
19-May 1861 Brunswick-built A. B. Thompson
21-May 1861 Bath-built Ariel
3-Jun 1861 Rockland-built Joseph
3-Jul 1861 Brewer-built Golden Rocket
4-Jul 1861 Milbridge-built Cuba and Machias-built Machias 
5-Jul 1861 Falmouth-built Ben Dunning
9-Jul 1861 Searsport-built Mary E. Thompson and Mary Goodell, and Machias-built Mary Alice 
23-Jul 1861 Freeport-built Blen
26-Jul 1861 Dennysville-built Albert Adams and Prospect-built William McGilvery 
4-Aug 1861 Stockton-built Windward
6-Aug 1861 Eastport-built Santa Clara
25-Aug 1861 Ellsworth-built Agricola
9-Sep 1861 Stockton-built Joseph Park
12-Oct 1861 Cape Elizabeth-built Grenada
17-Oct 1861 Wells-built Betsy Ames
29-Oct 1861 Searsport-built Alina, Castine-built Baron de Castine, and Bangor-built Elsinor 
30-Oct 1861 Searsport-built B. K. Eaton
26-Nov 1861 Hampden-built Arcade
28-Nov 1861 Bath-built Montmorenci
3-Dec 1861 Bath-built Vigilant
1-Jan 1862 Maine-built Estelle
18-Jan 1862 Searsport-built Investigator
6-Mar 1862 Stockton-built Marcus
7-Aug 1862 East Deering-built Martha Wenzell
11-Oct 1862 Calais-built Lamplighter
23-Oct 1862 Freeport-built Lafayette
28-Oct 1862 Damariscotta-built Lauretta
2-Jan 1863 Kennebunk-built Anna F. Schmidt
10-Jan 1863 Bucksport-built J. P. Ellicott
19-Feb 1863 Pembroke-built Emma L. Hall
27-Feb 1863 Pittston-built Washington
1-Mar 1863 Thomaston-built Bethia Thayer
2-Mar 1863 Hallowell-built John A. Parks
4-Apr 1863 Rockland-built Louisa Hatch
25-Apr 1863 Robbinston-built Dictator
26-Apr 1863 Yarmouth-built Dorcas Prince
3-May 1863 Trescott-built Sea Lark
13-May 1863 Prospect-built M. J. Colcord
5-Jun 1863 Damariscotta-built Talisman
6-Jun 1863 Blue Hill-built Whistling Wind
12-Jun 1863 Frankfort-built Arabella
14-Jun 1863 Sullivan-built Umpire
25-Jun 1863 Cape Elizabeth-built Village
26-Jun 1863 Bath-built Constitution
28-Jun 1863 Bath-built City of Bath
8-Jul 1863 Milbridge-built William B. Nash
9-Jul 1864 Brunswick-built Greenland
10-Aug 1864 South Bristol-built Etta Caroline
11-Aug 1864 Columbia Falls-built A. Richards, Addison-built Atlantic, Cutler-built Carrie Estelle, Machias-built Carroll, and Bath-built John Carver
12-Aug 1864 Gardiner-built Billow, Tremont-built Spokane, and Belfast-built Suliot 
13-Aug 1864 Thomaston-built Glenavon
14-Aug 1864 Georgetown-built vessel Floral Wreath, Brewer-built James Littlefield, and Maine-built Magnolia 
15-Aug 1864 Boothbay-built Restless
16-Aug 1864 Harpswell-built P. C. Alexander and Maine-built  Pearl 
17-Aug 1864 Rockland-built Josiah Achorn
20-Aug 1864 Harrington-built Roan
30-Oct 1864 Brewer-built Mark L. Potter
31-Oct 1864 Harpswell-built vessel Albion Lincoln and Milbridge-built Emma L. Hall, captured at Chickamauga
3-Nov 1864 Rockland-built A. J. Bird and Cape Elizabeth-built E. F. Lewis
29-Dec 1864 Bangor-built vessel Delphine

“Maine-built” indicates unknown local origin.

Additional resources

Rowe, William Hutchinson. The Maritime History of Maine. New York. W.W. Norton. 1989. Table data from pp.315-316.

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This entry was last modified: January 13, 2013 10:51 PM

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